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Callahan Tunnel EntranceMassDOT today announced plans to perform a complete rehabilitation of the Callahan Tunnel, which carries traffic from Boston’s North End to Logan International Airport and Route 1A in East Boston.  The project will require a complete closure of the tunnel for approximately three months beginning in January 2014. 

The $34.9 million project includes rehabilitation of the 52-year old tunnel’s deck, curb line, gutters and replacement of the tunnel’s wall panels.  The original deteriorated wall panels were removed in December 2012 as a safety measure due to significant corrosion to the panel wall anchor system.

“The Callahan has served motorists well since the day it opened in 1961 and was paired with the Sumner tunnel,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola.  “However, every aspect of the tunnel is in fair to poor condition, and the time has come to put the Callahan in shape to last another 50 years.”

The proposed work schedule includes a full tunnel closure with detours in place and posted for approximately three months beginning in January 2014, followed by an additional 4-5 months of work requiring overnight closures between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

The complete closure of the tunnel in the early months of 2014 will reduce the overall duration of the project, provide enhanced public safety by minimizing changes to traffic flow, and better coordinate with other local projects including Tobin Bridge work, which is scheduled to end for 2013 in November and resume in spring 2014.

MassDOT will use extensive public outreach prior to the tunnel closure to provide information about alternate routes and detours and during the closure implement posted detours with message boards and provide regional signs directing motorists on Route 1, Route 2, Route 3, I-95 and I-93 to use alternate routes or public transportation to access Logan Airport.

In order to inform the public about the rehabilitation project including the preliminary work schedule and expected traffic impacts, MassDOT has scheduled two public information meetings in Boston regarding the Callahan Tunnel Rehabilitation Project as follows:

Thursday, June 20 – 6:30pm, Nazzaro Community Center, 30 North Bennet Street

Wednesday, June 26 – 6:30pm, East Boston High School, 86 White Street

In December 2012, a single wall panel fell during evening rush hour.  There were no injuries to motorists, damage to vehicles or structural concerns; however, three additional panels are removed as a precaution that evening.  MassDOT immediately in December conducted an overnight pull-test of all 2800 panels inside the Callahan Tunnel, removing approximately 120 panels due to either advanced corrosion or as a precaution. In January 2013, plans were carried out to remove all the panels from the Callahan to ensure safety, resulting in dim conditions but no structural issues.

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